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Shep. See, Love, the blushes of the morn appear,
In the cowslip's bell and roses rare;
Nym. Those streaks of doubtful light usher not day,
The yellow planets and the grey
Shep. If thine eyes gild my paths, they may forbear
Shep. Those drops will make their beams more clear,
Cho. They kissed and wept, and from their lips and eyes,
In a mixed dew, of briny sweet
Their joys and sorrows meet;
But she cries out. Nym. Shepherd, arise,
Shep. The winged hours fly fast whilst we embrace,
Nym. Then let us pinion time, and chase
The day forever from this place.
Shep. Hark! Nym. Ay me! stay! Shep. Forever: Nym. No!
We must be gone! Shep. My nest of spice!
Nym. My soul! Shep. My Paradise!
Cho. Neither could say farewell, but through their eyes
FROM THE RAPTURE.'
Meanwhile the bubbling stream shall court the shore,
The gentle blasts of western winds shall move
The trembling leaves, and through their close boughs breathe
Still music, while we rest ourselves beneath
Daphne hath broke her bark, and that swift foot,
EPITAPH ON THE LADY MARY VILLERS.
The Lady Mary Villers lies
Would you know what's soft? I dare
Nor, if you would music hear,
Or on food were your thoughts placed,
No more shall meads be decked with flowers,
The fish shall in the ocean burn,
Love shall his bow and shaft lay by,
Love shall no more inhabit earth,
Nor lovers more shall love for worth,
IN PRAISE OF HIS MISTRESS.
You that will a wonder know,
Two suns in a heaven of snow
Leaves of crimson tulips met
Where two pearly rows be set,
All this but the casket is
Such a jewel, as to miss
Breeds endless pains,That's her mind, and they that know it May admire, but cannot show it.
[ROBERT HERRICK was born in Cheapside, in August 1594, and died at Dean Prior, in Devonshire, on the 15th of October, 1674. He published one volume, containing He perides, dated 1648, and Noble Numbers, dated 1647.]
Among the English pastoral poets, Herrick takes an undisputed precedence, and as a lyrist generally he is scarcely excelled, except by Shelley. No other writer of the seventeenth century approached him in abundance of song, in sustained exercise of the purely musical and intuitive gifts of poetry. Shakspeare, Milton, and perhaps Fletcher, surpassed him in the passion and elevated harmony of their best lyrical pieces, as they easily excelled him in the wider range of their genius and the breadth of their accomplishment. But while these men exercised their art in all its branches, Herrick confined himself very narrowly to one or two, and the unflagging freshness of his inspiration, flowing through a long life in so straitened a channel, enabled him to amass such a wealth of purely lyrical poetry as no other Englishman has produced. His level of performance was very high; he seems to have preserved all that he wrote, and the result is that we possess more than twelve hundred of his little poems, in at least one out of every three of which we may find something charming or characteristic. Of all the Cavalier lyrists Herrick is the only one that followed the bent of his genius undisturbed, and lived a genuine artist's life. Consequently, while we have to lament, in the case of Lovelace or Suckling, a constant waste of energy, and unthrifty drain of poetic power, in Herrick all is wisely husbanded, and we feel satisfied that we possess the best that he could produce. His life was an ideal one so far as quiet and retirement went; to fourteen years of seclusion at Cambridge there succeeded twenty years of unbroken Arcadian repose in a Devonshire vicarage, and it was not till the desire to rhyme had left him that the poet was brought rudely face to face with the